Legal Gambling Information
The recent downfall of the Royal Bank of Jordan has brought forth a number of topical issues on the global stage. What started off as a tiny African nation of fifteen million people, has today become a major player on the world scene, right behind Brazil and India. For a brief glimpse into the current situation, we have listed some of the most significant developments taking place:
o Gambling: The Kingdom of Jordan is a key player on the world scene when it comes to world-class casinos. Nearly two thousand people showed up across Jordan to demand the immediate dissolution of the parliament of shame, over a suspected graft case involving a high-ranking gambling casino gambling official. As the demonstrations continued throughout the day, more than 1,000 Jordanians participated in a sit-in protest organized by the mainstay conservative Islamic opposition, in central Amman. These protests were called by Salah Al-Din, a member of the royal family and an MP for the opposition National Democratic Party (NDP). Other prominent figures who joined in the sit-ins included the former governor of Jawan, Taha Jibril, head of the National Bureau of Security and Intelligence Service (NBIS), Sami binladissi and Adel al-Haddad.
o Gambling Casinos: There are several highly-developed international casinos located in Jordan, catering to not just local tastes but the needs of tourists from around the globe. The most popular and well-known among them is the King Moghuls’ Club, which is the largest in all of the Middle Eastern countries. Besides featuring leading casino games such as poker and blackjack, the club offers exotic betting deals that include Dubai slots, Chinese baccarat, roulette, craps and even lottery games. Most visitors to the casinos are usually from western countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Canada. However, visitors are sometimes welcomed to gamble on the ground floor of the hotels in the traditional Bedouin way, thereby violating the law.
o Muslim Law: Although Jordan is a secular country and has a vibrant and multicultural population, the conservative Salah al-Din population still opposes gambling on the basis that gambling takes away from the seriousness of their religious rituals. The only exception to this rule is when live casinos are being built in places of worship such as Masjid al-Nabi and the Grand Mosque. There is also a minority of tribal Jordanis who believe that the law does not allow gambling because they consider it to be a form of idolatry. For example, they view the wagering involved in Formula One car racing as having nothing to do with religion.
o Blamed for stolen funds: A major complaint against Jordan is that it allows large sums of money from gambling transactions to be kept by the licensed casinos without providing security for the money. These illicit funds are then taken advantage of by the syndicate leaders and other officials who run the casinos. They use the obtained profits to purchase weapons, drugs and other bribes. The money thus accumulated by these officials eventually reaches terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which is notorious for terrorist attacks inside Israel. Moreover, there are reports that some of these funds are used for political extortion and other activities aimed at toppling the elected government of Mossadeq.
o Legal Issues: The prohibition against gambling in Jordan is considered to be in force since the country’s first penal code based on shariah was adopted in 6AH. The code states that gambling is strictly forbidden except for traditional, old age, male and female people who are residents of specified localities. There are no special benefits for lottery tickets or scratch cards and players are not permitted to trade them with others. However, the penalties attached to illegal gambling are very harsh and include heavy fines, heavy prison terms, and forced labor.
o Sports Gambling: Similar to the United States, the practice of gambling on sporting events is prohibited in many countries including United States. However, some states allow sports gambling by making it a felony. This means that if you are found to be gambling on sports, you face a serious penalty. Gambling on horse race and car racing is deemed illegal in United States, while in some states it is allowed as long as it does not involve more than $100 US. Some states have made it a felony to place any kind of bet on horse races or car racing.
o Raffle Activities: Like other types of gambling, there are various ways through which you can win prizes in various games including bingo and other card games. In many countries like United States, you can be guilty of gambling by participating in a raffle. The law clearly states that you cannot participate in a raffle unless it is organized as a game of chance and is organized for fair compensation. You will be guilty of this crime, even if the outcome of a game is influenced by fate. In most cases, the outcome of a raffle game is based on numbers which are drawn randomly.